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    New Delhi: With the change in the weather and a dip in the temperatures, the Air Quality Index (AQI) is expected to go from poor to severe level. This issue needs to be addressed at both the urban and rural sphere.

    The repercussions of air pollution include not just acute illnesses but also chronic illnesses affecting the respiratory, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular functions resulting in early mortality. There are certain sections of our population who are at a higher risk such as children, pregnant women, senior citizens, people with pre-existing chronic illnesses and individuals who have occupations that require them to be especially vulnerable to the pollution.

    The Health Secretary shared an updated advisory with information on the subject and directives to the state health authorities for the dissemination of awareness about air pollution and its implications on the health of the citizens. These guidelines are issued with the hope that state authorities will implement policies to actively strengthen the health systems in place. The advisory also includes a new clause intended for school-going children as they are very vulnerable to consequences of deteriorating air quality.

    After having implemented the State level Action Plans for Climate Change and Human Health for almost all States/UTs under the National Programme for Climate Change and Human Health(NPCCHH), the government has shifted its focus to develop similar action plans at the district and city levels. There is also an emphasis being placed on expanding the network of sentinel hospitals for pulmonary illnesses in the States/UTs.

    According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), this also seems like an appropriate time to initiate IEC campaigns and to facilitate IEC information. The Health Secretary persuades the State/UTs to adopt these measures and safeguard the health of the people with immediate effect.

    • Published On Nov 10, 2023 at 02:48 PM IST

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